Take a hike... or a walk or a yoga class: Women's Health & Fitness Day
By Peyton Azar
However, just like everything else in our lives right now, health and fitness have been looking a bit different recently. But that doesn’t make it any less important.
In the midst of a global pandemic, most of us have had our fitness routines dramatically altered. Instead of walking with neighborhood groups, flocking to gyms or piling into a yoga class, many of us have been forced to replace these group workouts with something more solitary. Although exercise may feel a bit lonely right now, it’s essential for staying healthy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity dramatically strengthens physical and mental health. Even just one session of physical activity can immediately reduce anxiety and increase cognition.
Furthermore, regular exercise can reduce the risk of chronic illness and diseases, bone fractures, depression, anxiety, arthritis and even some cancers. But the benefits don’t stop there.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, regular physical activity can result in weight loss, increased energy, higher self-esteem, a better night’s sleep and a longer life span.
The World Health Organization recommends that adults ages 18-64 exercise for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise per week, or 75 minutes of more intense exercise. Exercise comes in many forms, ranging from walking and running to hiking, swimming and bike riding.
Because it’s possible that your regular exercise routine has been derailed, here are some links to COVID-conscious activities you can do from home!
1. Why these 10 exercises will rock your body
2. Top 25 At-Home Exercises
3. Beginner Yoga with Adriene
There are also several free apps and YouTube videos dedicated to home workouts.
Also, at least for another month or so, the weather will comfortably allow for outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, jogging, cycling and even tennis. All these are great forms of exercise in which you can also practice social distancing.
However, women’s health and fitness are not just about exercise. It’s vital to get annual check-ups and screenings to make sure everything is running smoothly.
At Monongalia County Health Department Clinical Services, you can receive free or low-cost birth control, breast and cervical cancer screening, pap smears, mammogram referrals, STD and hepatitis tests, vaccines and more. Head over to the Monongalia County Health Department’s website to check out all the available resources.
For those who are pregnant or have children up to the age of 5 who meet income guidelines, MCHD Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides vouchers for healthy foods to families who qualify under generous income guidelines.
Through our Environmental Health program, MCHD even offers radon testing. This invisible gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. While nationally, the incidence of high levels of radon in a home are about 1 in 15, it’s about 1 in 5 in Monongalia County. If your home tests for high levels, there are steps you can take to fix the problem.
Another crucial aspect of women’s health and fitness is mental health. Remember to relax and take some time for you! Whether that be meditating, reading a book, painting, watching your favorite movie or cuddling up with your furry friends, make sure to do something that makes you happy. You are so important, and you deserve it.